Can you imagine how you would feel if someone wrote all of your sins down in a book and then sent it off to a publisher and said, “Here! Here is some great gossip in a book with all the juicy details of “so-in-so’s” life.” Then imagine it being published. Then imagine it becoming a New York Times best seller. Then imagine it becoming the most sought after, most purchased, most read book of all time!
Did you know that the Bible is the best selling book of all time? Did you know that more copies have been sold than any other book, ever? Can you imagine being one of those people whose dirty laundry is aired out for everyone to read for all eternity? Noah got drunk, Abraham got his wife’s servant pregnant, David had an affair with Bathsheba and then murdered her husband to cover up the pregnancy that occurred from the affair, Peter denied Jesus, Paul killed Christians! There are so many others too. What would my story say? Yikes!
Here we are years later reading the pages of our Bibles and so many times we are able to relate to what the person went through but we are reluctant to share our stories. These men, didn’t have a choice. God wrote their story for everyone to see. Notice though that in spite of their dirty laundry, God used each one of them. Noah was the father to every man after the flood. Abraham was the father of the entire nation of Israel. David, King of Israel, Father of Solomon, and Man after God’s own heart. Peter, the rock on which the New Testament churches were built. Paul, the greatest missionary ever!
God may not have given them a choice to share, but he gives us one. How much are we willing to share? My dirty laundry includes a haunting high school relationship that took years to move past, a couple other unhealthy relationships which I believe stemmed from not moving past the first one, an unfaithful spouse, a messy divorce, a custody battle, re-marriage, family turmoil, and my list keeps growing! There are many details of our lives that are best left between us, God, and a trusted counselor or confidant. There are other details that are just simply best left between us and God. There are many details that we overlook though. What part of your dirty past can help someone deal with their dirty present? What part of your dirty past can open the eyes of someone to warn them to steer clear of that in the future? We have become a generation so caught up in the performance of life that we forget that we are living life, not preforming it. This isn’t an act, it’s our life! A friend of mine (hope you don’t mind Ellen) posted on facebook that she felt some of her friends were being secretive about their lives. They would be posting pictures and status updates about their happy marriage and family, then disappear for a month, then reappear with a brand new facebook account with no pictures or mention of their spouse. Now, as I have been through a similar storm, I can see why we don’t want to post a divorce all over facebook and heaven knows I don’t want to see status updates about the fight you had with your mom or that your best friend stabbed you in the back, but to make a whole person just disappear and then act like no one is going to notice if you don’t address it. We aren’t that naive people! But in this day of high speed technology our dirty laundry gets aired a whole lot quicker than we would like it to. Most times we don’t even have time to process something that happened in our own lives before someone is texting, emailing, or posting the details of our lives on the internet. When I went through my divorce, I didn’t air out my dirty laundry on facebook. However, I did take the time to email everyone I was close to, families I had ministered with, and friends that were close to both of us to let them them know what had gone on. I didn’t give every detail but I did want my loved ones to know what was going on in my life. Since that time, there are some I have shared my story with that have been touched by what I have experienced. Some have cried, others have gotten mad (which I find rather humorous now), some have just shrugged it off, and others have shared their story with me.
Not everyone is called on by God to share in a blog, or speak at an event, or write a book about their lives. We are all called to love one another as Christ has loved us. (John 13:34) We are all called to not judge one another because judgement is God’s. (James 4:12) We are all called to pray for our brothers and sisters that they may not fall into temptation or if they are already in it to help them get out of it. (Galatians 6:1-2) We too often ignore our own dirty laundry and focus on others. Theirs is more interesting, right? Or maybe if we focus on theirs, no one will look at ours. It seems we want the dry clean clothes without first having to take the dirty ones out to wash them. We live in a sinful world and we are sinful people. Whether we ourselves or someone else causes the mess that we find ourselves in, we are all messy people. Sinful, messy, dirty, people. But we are washed clean by grace. Let me say that again. We are washed clean by grace! I Corinthians 6 lays out all the dirty laundry. In verses 9 and 10 there is a list of all the immoral acts man can do and then we come to verse 11! I Corinthians 6:11 says, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” That’s right, dirty laundry washed!